During Season 11, the rumor was that Jennifer Lopez was leaving American Idol for a tour with Enrique Iglesias and other projects. However, she never confirmed it, saying that she would consider whether to stay on as a judge after the season.
Now, we somewhat surprisingly find out that Steven Tyler is quitting the Idol judging panel. This is somewhat of a surprise because Steven, while somewhat aloof, seems to love the music and the contestants. And he seemed to enjoy being part of these kids becoming music stars.
According to Steven, he has neglected his band Aerosmith to some degree, calling Idol his “mistress.” Tyler says the band is his first love and that they are coming out with a new album in November. Of course, Aerosmith remains as a very successful touring band, so it is at least conceivable that Tyler could be losing money by doing Idol.
Was Steven Tyler fired from American Idol? I tend to doubt it. Although the ratings were certainly down again this year, that has been the general trend for this show for the past few years. It just doesn’t have the buzz it once did to maintain TV viewership of over 20 million on weekly basis. Sure, it’s possible that FOX executives are ditching Tyler to try something new. At most, though, I would guess it was a mutual decision, not an actual firing.
As to who will replace Steven as a judge, the Idol press release says nothing about that. Surely, rumors will be flying in the next few weeks, and Jennifer Lopez is probably going to be officially quitting the show as well.